Tuesday started out like any other day. We got up, got ready for school/work, and did our whole routine. Squeaker went to karate. I gave him a little pep talk before karate about how he had two more classes before he tested for his Tiger yellow belt. We went over the rules: no talking, no sitting, no picking at his hands and feet. He was awesome during karate. It was his best class yet–he was so attentive!! I would say we were on the verge of having a super day.
We got home, I let him play in the back yard. While he was playing, I watched from the kitchen. I was just about to get dinner in the oven. We had burned leaves the night before, along with our old swingset (made of wood), and there were some ashes on the ground. Squeaker was poking them with a stick, and I told him to get away from them and he listened. The phone rang and I answered it. It was my husband. I couldn’t find my hands-free (bluetooth) and thought I left it in the car, so I ran to go grab it really quickly. I didn’t want to hold my phone while I was making dinner. I had just gotten to the garage when I heard Squeaker screaming.
Somehow I knew. I knew right away. He was pacing back and forth in the livingroom screaming. My husband is still on the phone, and I tell him I have to go. I drop the phone. The water in the bathroom was running. He had tried to rinse his hands off in cold water. I grabbed a bowl, filled it with ice and water, and told him to put his hands in. He wanted his Toy Story blanket so he could hide. Hiding is his solution when he’s hurt. If he hides under a blanket, everything is okay. Except this time, when he touches a blanket, he screams. He screams, puts his hands back in the water, and tries to touch the blanket again. This repeats again and again. I finally get him sitting down at least and call my husband back. I let him know that we’re going to have to take Squeaker to the doctor. The screaming doesn’t stop. That’s the worst part. And there’s nothing else I can do.
Finally, after what seems like an eternity, but what’s really only 5 minutes, my husband gets home. I tell him that there’s no way I can handle taking him in. Emotionally or physically. The screaming. The thrashing I’m sure he’s going to do. I just can’t handle it. So he takes him in and I stay home with Big Guy. I stay home and I think about how awful I am for leaving him for two seconds unattended. But I can tell you one thing. Those ashes got hosed down immediately. And as I hosed them down I thought about how much I wished we had already done that. But it’s too late. He’s already been burned.
The phone call I get updating me is hard to understand because of the screaming in the background. Squeaker has had two shots of morphine and is still screaming. The first shot was supposed to have knocked him out. They’ve put Silverdine on his hands. He’s still in pain or maybe he’s just scared, but he’s still screaming. Every time I call he’s screaming. He screamed for two hours.
|Calmed down. Hands all bandaged up and with his new Lightning McQueen Racecar.|
I texted his teacher to let her know he wouldn’t be at school and why and she called me. I felt amazingly strong for not crying up until this point. Not having said out loud what happened was the key. Not saying out loud how it felt to hear him scream and not stop screaming or how awful I felt about it kept me together. I got choked up talking about it. I had no way, at this point, of knowing how bad it was. It’s hard to tell when your child won’t let you look at his injuries. He was wounded and he wanted to protect himself.
|Waiting to get redressed.|
I’m thankful that it’s not any worse than it is. He’s got 2nd degree burns on both hands. The left hand is worst than the right. For most people, this would be great, but his left hand is his dominant hand. I am thankful that he did not have 3rd degree burns and didn’t have to go to a trauma center and spend time in a hospital. As it is, we have an appointment at a wound center where he has to go daily to get his wounds redressed. There is some concern about where the blistering is, especially on that left hand. If it heals and tightens up the skin, he could lose mobility in the hand, so they’re supposed to help us work with that and prevent that from happening. I’m worried about how this will effect his already delayed fine motor skills.
As for how he’s coping…well, he’s frustrated about not being able to use his hands. I was expecting a full-out meltdown when his bandages got changed yesterday, and I think he was actually ready for them to come off. Not a peep from him the whole time they were being unwrapped. He’s not even taking his pain medicine and not complaining about pain. He let them clean off his hands, but definitely (loudly) let them know when they were hurting him. It all went so smoothly and I was so proud of how well he did.
When it came time to put the bandages back on, the doctor asked if he was okay with that, and he said, “No! I need these hands for playing!”
He didn’t protest much when his right hand got covered, but he was growling when they started to cover up his left hand and started shouting. “You’re a baby! Hush!” Whatever he could find in his arsenal of things we don’t allow him to say came out. In the end, he got some Spongebob bandaids on the outside of the bandages and a popsicle and all was well. Unfortunately, I did have to re-tape one hand ghetto-style with blue tape when we got home because it wasn’t done very well. Thank God he gets re-bandaged daily!!
|On the way to school.|
He really wanted to go to school today, so he’s at school. They made sure the nurse would be there today in case his bandages come off or anything like that, which I really appreciated. I don’t want to keep him from a place he really wants to be. He was really upset yesterday when he couldn’t go. I was nervous dropping him off, but his favorite TA loves to baby him, and he’s going to get lots of attention. He has a change of clothes in case he has an accident and I made sure that the office at my school knows that no matter what I’m doing, if I get a phone call, I need to be reachable.
All we really have to deal with are his frequent tantrums when he can’t pick things up and he doesn’t get immediate help. He doesn’t wait more than 10 seconds for someone to come to his aid before self-harming. We were told it was going to be 7-10 days before he could use his hands. So it’s going to be a long week or so. After that, we’ll have to get him used to doing things for himself again. So, we have a long road ahead.